This is a pretty big year for the Jurassic Park series. Not only is Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the hotly anticipated sequel to 2015’s wildly successful reboot, Jurassic World, hitting cinemas today, but 2018 also marks 25 years since the original Jurassic Park kicked off one of the highest-grossing media franchises of all time.
There’s a lot to love in the world of Jurassic Park, so to celebrate Fallen Kingdom, we thought we’d share our 10 favourite moments from the iconic series.
10. There’s a dinosaur in our back yard… (The Lost World)
Amidst the chaos of a full-grown tyrannosaurs roaming the streets of San Diego, director Steven Spielberg manages to perfectly execute one of franchise’s funniest moments. The audience can only laugh as a young boy wakes his parents and tries to convince them there’s a dinosaur outside, only for them to shrug him aside and argue about whether the fish tank in his room is keeping him awake.
9. Fight Night (Jurassic Park III)
Jurassic Park III was not a cinematic masterpiece. Lowering the bar considerably on its predecessors, Jurassic Park and The Lost World, it was a good 14 years before the film series was able to recover with Jurassic World. The one scene that’s difficult to not enjoy though, is the epic fight between a t-rex and the vicious new arrival, spinosaurus. Introducing the spino’ as the film’s antagonist in a way that shows it’s not to be trifled with, this is one of the series’ rare moments of good old-fashioned monster mayhem.
8. Don’t go into the long grass! (The Lost World)
If Jaws made people scared to go into the water, The Lost World had the same effect with meadows of tall grass. Finding a new way in The Lost World to live up to the fearsome reputation that the velociraptors earned in Jurassic Park was no mean feat, but the scene in which InGen’s mercenaries are mercilessly picked off by an unseen pack of raptors has rightfully earned a place as one of the series’ most nerve-shredding moments.
7. You’re not so bad… (Jurassic Park)
The scene that had kids all around the world diving for cover behind the sofa, Jurassic Park saboteur, Dennis Nedry, meets a sticky and gruesome end at the hands of one of the park’s smallest – yet most memorable – dinosaurs; the venom-spewing dilophosaurus.
6. Splash zone (Jurassic World)
While Jurassic Park III introduced flying pterosaurs to the Jurassic universe, the series always lacked something in the way of an aquatic creature. Jurassic World sets the record straight, with one of the most satisfying shots of the movie being the enormous mosasaurus emerging from its tank to snap a great white shark from the air, before crashing back down below the waves.
5. Shoot her! (Jurassic Park)
As opening scenes go, this one sets a pretty high bar. We never see more than a glimpse of the raptor’s eyes or claws through the slats in its crate as it drags a site worker to a gruesome end, with park warden Muldoon desperately screaming “shoot her,” but the message is clear – if you’re not scared of raptors, you should be.
4. Welcome to Jurassic Park (Jurassic Park)
Our first real glimpse of a dinosaur in Jurassic Park isn’t a terrifying one. It’s a majestic moment, as palaeontologist Alan Grant spies a brachiosaurus reaching for foliage from a skyscraper-esque tree, while a herd of parasaurolophus wade through a nearby lake. Accompanied by John Williams’ unmistakeable score, it’s a beautiful scene, as John Hammond’s doomed vision of Jurassic Park is – momentarily – realised.
3. Start your engines (Jurassic World)
It’s a moment unlike any other in the series; as Chris Pratt’s Owen rides a roaring motorbike alongside a pack of raptors, set loose to run down the rampaging indominus rex. It was always going to end in tears, but for a brief moment, it’s one of the most exciting scenes in the entire series.
2. Stand down (Jurassic World)
Everyone who’s ever heard of Jurassic Park knows that velociraptors are not to be trifled with. So the moment Chris Pratt’s Owen leaps to the defence of a colleague in the raptor enclosure gives us one of the series’ most potent scenes – standing face-to-face with three of Jurassic’s most lethal predators, arms outstretched, telling them to “stand down.” ‘Nerves of steel’ doesn’t come close.
1. When dinosaurs ruled the earth (Jurassic Park)
Having been relentlessly hunted through the park, our favourite Jurassic scene of the lot is when Dr Grant, Dr Satler, Tim and Lex are cornered in the park’s visitor centre by a murderous pack of raptors. A swift and gruesome end seems certain. Snarling, the first raptor leaps forward… only to be snatched out of the air and hurled across the room by the antagonist-turned-last-minute-hero, the tyrannosaurus rex. It’s cheesy. It’s impossible. But if it doesn’t have you cheering at your screen, then frankly, nothing will.